The Year in Review: Supervisors, Nonprofits Grapple with Grant Funding

The Board of Supervisors has tried for several years running to update its grant funding process for nonprofits, including some false starts.

The board has sought for years to remove political debate from its grant making process, and to set up a more equitable, effective system. In June, the county board backed off dramatic changes to that system after drawing sharp concern from the nonprofit community.

In September, a study of Loudoun’s nonprofits and their needs found what nonprofit executives have been saying all along—they need more funding. It also identified holes in the safety net, where people fall through gaps in service. The study found Loudoun spends less per capita compared to the number of residents in need.

In December, the Board of Supervisors approved a plan to set up direct funding with six nonprofits, taking them out of the grant process. By funding them separately and maintaining the funding available through the grant process, the county effectively increased its funding for nonprofits by more than $502,000.

The county also set up a simplified application process for small nonprofits, and refocused funding toward “life-sustaining” nonprofits and away from recreation and culture nonprofits.

The county will also pursue a partnership with the Loudoun Human Services Network to create a human services strategic plan. That would also include a $30,000 donation to the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties to provide a consultant.

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